"Goodnight you moonlight ladies
Rock-a-bye, sweet baby James
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Won't you let me go down in my dreams
And rock-a-bye my sweet baby James..."
"Sweet Baby James"
It occurred to me as I was driving home from Tulsa, well before dawn on Tuesday, that although lullabies are most generally associated with mommies, it is the voice of a father...a man, that I hear when I listen to the inner songsmith singing me to sleep in the dark.
This surprised me greatly. Every single night of my childhood, my own mommy sang us to sleep with a series of lullabies and hymns. The same songs in the same order...night after night. I repeat this tradition every night with my own daughters. And yet, when I thought about listening to the comforter within, his voice was, to me, clearly...well..."his."
Because of an earlier commitment I had made to myself, I was listening to no radio/CDs while alone in the car so that I could enjoy more silence each day. I knew this would give me over 7 hours of quiet listening to examine the character and nature of the voice that speaks to me as consciousness...its tone and timbre, its strength and intonation. And as I listened, I discovered that it was actually quite genderless. It was strong, yet gentle. It was musical, but not sing-songy. It was soothing, but not hypnotic...in fact, it was rather invigorating while still bringing great comfort. It was a glorious 7 hours that stretched into 13, as I stopped in rest areas over and over again to climb into the back seat and just close my eyes and listen with more focused attention.
I love the "voice" of God. It is why, from the time I was a small child even till today, I have often thought that I could be perfectly happy living in a small darkened, silent space (like the cell lived in by Audrey Hepburn in "A Nun's Story") alone with my thoughts. My family well knows that the opportunity to lie perfectly still for a moment (or hour) of non-sentience is a mini-retreat for me. The perfect kind of spa.
It is in these moments of total self-surrender to "the Voice" that the most remarkable insights and ideas occur. And they don't just come and go, leaving me with a return to silence. They come and unite in community, building on one another...angel upon angel...bringing new gifts to build on the one that has already been shared...morphing into even fresher, every evolving viewpoints, perspective, answers...and even more wonderfully...they result in more questions. It is almost as if I am watching a team of angel gardeners planting, tending and harvesting a mental time-lapse garden in the space of a divine moment...or two.
My drive home was filled with "the Voice" waking me to "new and glorified views" of Her place in my heart, His presence in the desires of those I love, Their Father-Mother parenting in the lives of children of all ages...everywhere.
Enjoy JT's video of "Sweet Baby James" a lullaby he sings and tells the story of writing one night as he drove from New England to North Carolina to meet his namesake nephew. I think he must have been surrounded by a host of angels that night, don't you? And thankfully, we've all enjoyed the blessing of the garden-song he harvested for over 40 years now. I'm not thinking he was just driving along, chilling, and listening to the radio that night...he gave space to "the Voice" and what he heard was divine.